By Ulfat Riyaz Rather
Blood gained victory over the sword on the day of Ashura and the Jenab e Zainab (SA) was the cause of that victory. This was because the forces of righteousness were apparently defeated in a military fight in Karbala, but Zainab’s behavior was the factor that turned this apparent defeat into a permanent and decisive victory. That victory was due to the role she played after the day of Ashura.
Jenab e Zainab (RA) demonstrated to the world the greatest sacrifices made by her brother Imam Hussain (AS) and other members of the family of the Holy Prophet of Islam(SAW) who were brutally martyred at Karbala in 61 A.H by the forces of Yazid , son of Muawiya. On the other hand, the women and children witnessed the very inhumane and merciless violence that took place in Karbala, yet they were not desperate, depressed, they did not collapse, despite all the pain and challenges, they stood firm spoke up and held Yazid responsible.
All of them had no fear or anxiety but rather were very strong and decisive in their stances. Besides sermons, Jenab e Zainab (RA) with utmost bravery in the gathering of Yazid son of Muawiya in Syria , shook his majlis (gathering) which still echoes through time and space.
Jenab e Zainab (RA) was an outstanding figure in the history of Karbala endowed with divine steadfastness and fortitude. After the martyrdom of her brother and members of Holy Prophet (SAW) in Karbala, Jenab e Zainab(RA) stood tall and said; “O my Lord! Accept our humble sacrifice to You.”
The story of her life is a tangible event. One of Jenab e Zainab’s unforgettable sermon was in Kufa’s marketplace which was not just an ordinary speech. It was not just the personal opinion of an important figure. Her sermon was a great and beautifully-worded analysis of the Islamic community’s situation at that time. The sermon included the most profound Islamic concepts.
See how strong her character was. Her brother, her Imam and leader had been martyred in a desert. She and tens of other women and children were taken captive on the same day. They were paraded in different places. Some of the people who were watching them were cheerful and some were shedding tears. Jenab e Zainab (RA) suddenly started her great mission in that critical situation. She spoke like her father did when he used to deliver a sermon to his people and spoke with the same tone. She spoke using the same kind of words Imam Ali (AS) would use, making opponents feel humiliated in their own base. She branded them with, permanent disgrace and turned their victory into a defeat:
“O the people of Kufah! Woe be upon you! Do you know which part of the Messenger of Allah you have cut? And which vow you have broken? And whose blood you have shed? And which respected family you have brought to the public as captives? And whose sanctity you have violated? You have done that, which could tear down the skies, open the earth, and make the mountains vanish. As far as the earth goes and as deep as the skies go, your obvious deed has no like, no similarity and no decency. Indeed you have done the ugliest, the most grievous and gruesome deed.”
With these words Jenab e Zainab (RA) confronted the people of Kufa who betrayed their Imam in Karbala. In sum, she represents an all embracing personality. Islam leads women towards this direction. Women, with their feminine qualities which the Almighty God has blessed them with, particularly women with deep faith, along with steadiness due to reliance on the Lord, and with chastity, that illuminates the area around them, can play an exceptional role in society. No man is able to play such a role.
There is no doubt that Jenab e Zainab (RA) is the shining sun in the history of Islam and of humanity. Her name is associate with the idea of freedom, justice, humanity, virtue, fighting against despotism, with the realization of the sovereignty of Allah. Jenab e Zainab (RA) symbolized a shining sun which reflected light into everything. She sowed the seeds of awareness in the entire Islamic society and is a true role model for any woman today of any religion. She showed the world the definition of womanhood. Her bravery and courage stands alone in a field of millions. She was tied up and taken as a prisoner. She had her scarf ripped off her head; she had her house burned to the ground. She was Jenab e Zainab bint e Ali (RA).
Today, despite so much progress and the spread of education, women are suppressed, humiliated, disgraced in several ways. Contemporary women have much to learn much from Jenab e Zainab’s(RA) example and leadership qualities. Her public role in different aspects of life, especially in the battle of Karbala has much to teach both Muslim men and women. The only way for women, in general , and Muslim women, in particular, could pay respect to her sacrifice is by being inspired by her life to be courageous in the face of tyranny, patient in times of trouble, and submissive to the will of God. Jenab e Zainab bint Ali (RA) , the role model for the righteous will forever teach us all that when we undergo countless trials in our lives, we should see nothing but beauty in them.
The author can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org